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NBC’s Legal Action Fuels YouTube’s Publicity Engine

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YouTube continues to grow in popularity, if for no other reason than the publicity they’ve been getting from NBC. For the second time in 30 days, NBC has sent them a cease and desist letter to remove last Saturday’s SNL skit featuring Natalie Portman rapping.

It only took YouTube users minutes to upload the SNL skit to YouTube’s servers Saturday night, and it was a fast few hours before YouTube complied with NBC’s “request” to pull it down.

Yet as the problem continues, and YouTube’s popularity grows with the under-24 audience, clearly something has to give with SNL‘s targeted demographic.

Like CBS last week, who insisted YouTube remove the clip that CBS created about Jason McElwain, the autistic basketball phenom, the networks are struggling with their digital distribution strategies — or are they?

YouTube reportedly gets over a million views of these high-profile clips. Then, as the drill goes, the networks come after them with “open” legal letters obviously played up by the publicity machines, and we all sit up and take note, not to mention click on the links and watch the clips.

YouTube is doing a phenomenal job keeping “hot,” so much so that the buzz is that YouTube will be bought by an NBC, CBS, Yahoo! or Fox by mid-year.

Anybody want to get a pool going? Here’s the game: Guess the Date AND pick the acquiring company, winner take all.

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About Gary Baker